A GATHERING OF SHADOWS (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Published Date: February 23rd 2016
(Click on Cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)
It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.
A Gathering of shadows was just as amazing as the first book in this series, if not even more amazing. Most people who’ve read it claim that it was so much better than the first book (which is not common for a sequel) and I agree!
The way this book starts off…I was like:
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you about another addictive character Schwab kindly introduced. Here I was, thinking it would be enough once she got me hooked to Lila, Kell and Rhy. But Nope. Now we have Alucard too. From the first time he appeared, I knew I was done for and then came some scenes he was in where I think I died for a few minutes…
(If you’ve read it then you know what I’m talking about ;))
A Gathering of Shadows starts off four months from where the first book stopped. The Danes have really messed things up in Red London and now all the blame is on poor Kell. The king and the queen are ever wary of him as are the people and things are a bit difficult for him, especially considering the bond that now ties his life to Rhy’s. The bond is also taking its toll on Rhy, despite his attempt at distraction with organizing the Elemental game that is to be hosted in Red London. The two come up with an idea to help solve their problem, and of course, get themselves in even more trouble.
Then we have Lila- still her conniving, badass self- actively pursuing her dream to be a pirate (as we’d all expect).
“I know where you sleep, Bard.”
She smirked. “Then you know I sleep with knives.”
I loved seeing her progress in this book. She learned a few things and came to be even more independent but she starts questioning somethings and starts to change for the better. Her character development was really done well. Her tough spirit really does get her somewhere (somewhere closer to being a pirate, that is).
“She used to think that if she stole enough, the want would fade, the hunger would go away, but maybe it wasn’t that simple. Maybe it wasn’t a matter of what she didn’t have, of what she wasn’t, but what she was.”
A major underlining throughout this book was the international game of magic- The Element Games. We get to see more of the world in the form of not only Arnesians, but Faroans and Veskans as well. It was one of my favorite parts of the story. The different features, the different cultures and the different takes on magic really add to the world-building. Not to mention that language that’s incorporated into this series (Holy s@#$! did Schwab create a whole other language?)
“I thought magic had nothing to do with physical size.”
“The body is a vessel,” explained Alucard. “The Veskans believe that the larger the vessel, the more power it can hold.”
The games start later on in the book and we get to see some damn awesome magic action. The matches were described so well that I found myself cheering inside like I was actually watching along with the crowd. The rules of the game and the different applications of magic were so creative!
What really surprised me though was that as I read on, I kept expecting Kell and Lila to meet again, but it doesn’t happen till very later on. What’s even more surprising is that I found myself liking that. I mean I do ship Kell and Lila, but it was as much fun getting to know them separately- something that is usually lost with couples in most books. So I really liked that we were able to get more on each character’s past and more on their separate journeys. Victoria Schwab herself had once said that Lila isn’t a side character or simply a love interest. In this book, that really becomes more apparent.
I have crossed worlds and taken ships.
Fought queens and saved cities.
I am one of a kind.
I have more thoughts about this book and some guesses on what’s to come on the next book. Check them out here:
Book 1 and Book 3
(Click on Cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)
I have reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic. Click here to check it out:
“I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.” (veschwab.wordpress.com)
Find Author: https://veschwab.wordpress.com